Tomorrow there will be a collective announcement by Auckland Council, the Regional Facilities Auckland and Springs Promotions around the future of open wheel speedway in Auckland.
For many years now, we have fought to stay at Western Springs as it has been our home for almost 90 years. Our emotional attachment to the venue has been the main driving force behind this, however we seem to be fighting this battle more and more often.
The competitors and fans of speedway deserve better than this, which gave cause to review the entire situation, to ensure the sport continues to grow whilst providing a legacy for future generations. Rather than delay what was proving to be inevitable, the collective decision was made with the future of speed in mind.
The challenges faced at Western Springs are vast and include a heavily restricted number of race and rain-out nights, strict timing restrictions on those meetings, public parking, race trailer access as well as the shared environment with the likes of Taste, Pacifica, concerts, MOTAT and Ponsonby Rugby.
An opportunity presented itself whereby an alternate location has been offered to our sport, that location is the new purpose-built motorsport facility at Colin Dale Park, near the Auckland International Airport. This opportunity provides a long-term future for open wheel racing in Auckland at a stadium designed specifically for speedway.
This multimillion-dollar stadium will provide an unlimited number of meetings, purpose-built wide track specifically designed for the wheel to wheel racing this sport is renowned for. It will have both terraced and grand stand seating options, International Series events for the premier classes, Mega Screen to watch those all-important replays, pit access for fans and plenty of off-street parking, all created for our sport.
The stadium will have a pit area large enough to hold over 180 competitors with easy access. Additionally, the new stadium will allow New Zealand Championship events to be run over two days, as well as ample pre-season practice meetings and training days along with new exciting events, given we have unlimited scope in the future.
The stadium will have several purpose-built areas including a speedway museum, large grandstand, merchandise shops, food stalls and a clubroom suitable to cater to the sport of Speedway.
We understand the significance of a shift to a new venue, we are focused on even the smallest details when we begin to design the new home for speedway. We know that a plastic seated fish bowl lacks atmosphere, as opposed to the famous concrete terraces of the Springs. We know that drivers face glare from the sun at a certain time of the night, we can position the track to minimise this. We know our drivers need a banked, American style race track with multiple racing grooves. An opportunity to consider these and many other details will allow us to create an amazing venue, charged with atmosphere and a whole new level of racing action.
“This decision has been one of the toughest imaginable” said Greg Mosen – Promoter, “we called all the drivers together to ensure they were part of this process, it was great to have them support us with a unanimous call to support the move” he said.
With the recent opening of the Western Route Tunnel, and the proposed widening of the access road to the Airport, along with the proposed commercial developments schedule for the surrounding area, Colin Dale Motorsport Park will become the best place to watch open wheel speedway in Auckland.
Speedway at the Colin Dale Park will open in November 2020 having run at the Western Springs venue for the next two full seasons. This provides time to get everything in place, so there is no loss of any scheduled meetings in the switch-over.
Further detail will be shared with you, as soon as they are available.